Rising Cost of Razor Blades
As people who shave, most of us know, the cost of the disposable razor increased steadily over the last two decades. Razor manufacturers have been adding extra blades, moisturizing strips and raised rubber strips to lift the hairs (lubastrips). While most of these extra features have contributed to the disposable razor's improved standard to give us the next shave with less irritation, the increase in costs for these blades follow people around a burning sensation in your wallet. Some of the latest varieties of disposables can cost anything from $15 for a 4-pack set, which equates to roughly $4 apiece. With the average man throwing away at least a razor every 4 days to one week, the cost of shaving can become a little expensive.
Quick Dulling of Razor Blades
Most people already know that the act of cutting through the hairs on their skin is what dulls the blade and renders the razor head less effective. While this is true in a general term, it is not clear to everyone the very specific causes for this form of deterioration of the razor blade. So what are the main causes? Two categories basically; first is deposition, during shaving, of tiny hairs, skin oil and dead skin cells. And the second is deposition, during and after shaving, of oxidation products as a result of water used when shaving and when rinsing the blades. The first category is simple to understand. The second category occurs as a result of exposing the steel razor blade, wet with water, to air (specifically oxygen) – hence promoting oxidation. This oxidation is commonly known as rust. Imagine each piece of metal already long in this state before your next use of the blade for shaving. Note that these depositions may not be clearly visible to the eyes. The result is that you will not feel that same sharpness you felt during the previous shave of a few days ago.
So what can you do to prevent your disposable razor from becoming dull too quickly and having to throw it away prematurely? There are many methods out there that are a little over the top for the everyday razor user, such as cryogenically freezing your razor, freezing your razor in the freezer or placing it in a magnetic field, etc. Even none of these methods has enough evidence to support their effectiveness, and let's face it, who really would cryogenically freeze a razor every morning? So here are a few tried and tested methods that can help prolong the life of your razor blades which are more on the practical side.
Cleaning and Drying Your Razor Blades
After you are done completely rinsing of your razor, shake off any of the excess water still on the blades. Use a soft towel or firm tissue to dry off the blades. Do not pull your razor over the towel, pat it or wipe the razor on the towel. You can also use a blow dryer about 15 seconds to make sure that there is no water left on the blades. This is delicate and should be carefully done because the heat can warp the blades, if too hot. If your hair dryer has a cool shot button, you can use it to blow off any water without worrying about warping the blade. For an easier method, if you do not mind investing a bit more, there are razor blade sharpeners in the market, which will clean and sharpen your blades at the same time.
Next, is retention of the Razor, if you want to save your razor in the bathroom, do it in a sealed plastic bag. This will keep the moisture from showering off the blades and will help prevent unwanted oxidation. It is best to store the razor away from the bathroom or inside closed cabinets if you must store them in the bathroom. One of the worst places to store your blade is on item hangers close to or beside the shower. This is the source of a lot of steam and spray accelerate the dulling of your blades.
Use of Alcohols and Blade Honing
Placing a few drops or dipping your blade in a cup of alcohol can help remove moisture from your blades. This is because alcohol dries quickly and will help keep the blades dry. An added benefit to this method is that the alcohol will kill any bacteria that is on your blades and can help prevent razor burn and ingrown hairs.
Hone your blades just like a barber does his straight razor. This is not only going to sharpen the blade to sharpen the blades but will help keep them straight by removing any minor bends and nicks in the blades to ensure a closer shave. This is where an investment in a razor blade sharpener is worth the money. So if you are tired of spending up to $20 dollars a month on disposable razor blades, why not give the above methods a try. You are guaranteed cleaner and safer razor blades and more than likely keep them sharper for longer.